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The Best Espresso Pods - 2022

Last updated on December 7, 2021
Best Espresso Pods

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Our Picks For The Top Espresso Pods

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Rosso Caffè Nespresso-Compatible Premium Espresso Pods, 60-Pack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Rosso Caffè

Nespresso-Compatible Premium Espresso Pods, 60-Pack

Overall Take

Sippable and RecyclableEnjoy some tasty variety with these Earth-friendly brews.

  Runner Up

Nespresso Originals Variety Collection Espresso Pods, 50-Count

Nespresso

Originals Variety Collection Espresso Pods, 50-Count

Overall Take

Try Them AllAdventurous palates will find something different every weekday in this pack.

  We Also Like

Starbucks Authentic Nespresso Espresso Pods, 50-count

Starbucks

Authentic Nespresso Espresso Pods, 50-count

Overall Take

Authentic FixThese pods deliver that signature Starbucks roast.

  Strong Contender

L’OR Original Nespresso Assorted Espresso Pods, 50-Count

L'OR

Original Nespresso Assorted Espresso Pods, 50-Count

Overall Take

Reliably TastyThese aluminum pods are an effective delivery system for great coffee.

Guide written by Susan Thiemann
Last updated on December 7, 2021

There is a great deal of care that goes into the cultivation and roasting of coffee beans. And while the final step of actually brewing that coffee is fairly straightforward, there are a number of methods for doing it. True aficionados might have tried quite a few to satisfy their java jones, to the point where their coffee nook starts to resemble a mad scientist’s lab.

But when it comes to the most elegant combination of taste and simplicity, the art of coffee making may have reached its apex with the advent of single-serve pod-style machines. Even if you don’t already have one in your home, you’ve probably seen them at department stores under brand names like Nespresso or Keurig. With these machines, there’s no need to measure and pour coffee into a filter, or even water for every cup. You simply pop in the coffee pod of your choice and within seconds, you’ve got a fresh cup of coffee or espresso.

The choice of coffee makers is a tough one, but there are only so many brands to choose from. Choosing the right espresso pods, however, can be much trickier. There are hundreds of flavors and intensity levels offered by the companies that make those machines, and that’s before you even look through the many off-brand (but compatible) pods on the market.

The first thing that will narrow down your search is compatibility. You’ll want to make sure the pods you buy will fit into the machine you own. Buy the wrong pods, and you won’t just end up with an undrinkable mess — you might actually harm your machine.

The two major brands are Keurig and Nespresso, and of the two, Keurig has kept things relatively simple. Their K-Cups are a standard in all Keurig machines, and they’re even used by other coffee pod makers like Mueller and Hamilton Beach.

Nespresso has a wide variety of machines to suit every budget and taste, but their pods are not one-size-fits-all. The “original” line of Nespresso makers use a larger, cup-shaped pod where water jets through the top and forces coffee out through the foil covering at the bottom. The newer “vertuo” makers use a smaller, bowl-shaped pod that allows water to swirl around before flowing out.

The material of the coffee pod is another big consideration, both in terms of taste and the ability to recycle. The first generation of coffee pods got a lot of flak for how quickly they filled up garbage bins with non-biodegradable containers. Today, most companies have responded with kinder, gentler pods that can still produce a quality cup.

The most prevalent material is PBT, a thermoplastic that’s FDA-approved for use with food. It can also be recycled simply by rinsing out the container after use. A slightly pricier option is aluminum. These cups are a little thinner but more durable, allowing more coffee to be packed in. They can also be recycled with relative ease. These are the two main materials, but you can find pods made from a variety of compostable substances if you want to really be Earth-friendly.

After you’ve made those choices, the most important one can also be the hardest: Taste. From bold darker roasts to complex light varietals to seasonal flavored blends, there’s something out there for everyone. Variety packs are a good way to go until you find a coffee that suits you. Here, the joy is truly in the journey. Happy tasting!

The Best Espresso Pods

1
  Top Pick

Rosso Caffè Nespresso-Compatible Premium Espresso Pods, 60-Pack

If you're looking for a change of pace from the branded Nespresso coffees, these original-compatible pods are your wake-up call. They fit just as well as the originals and produce a consistent cup with each brew. Afterward, you can fully recycle the leftover material.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Rosso Caffè
Model
2
  Runner Up

Nespresso Originals Variety Collection Espresso Pods, 50-Count

This value pack gives you a taste of Nespresso's most popular flavors. There's something for everyone here, from the bold, dark Ristretto to the light and creamy Capriccio. They're made to fit Nespresso's original line of makers only, and do so reliably.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Nespresso
Model
3
  We Also Like

Starbucks Authentic Nespresso Espresso Pods, 50-count

If you can't kick the habit of your daily Starbucks coffee, these pods will at least let you get it at home (and for a lot less). The flavors are all accurate to what you might get from your local Starbucks barista, and all you need is an Nespresso machine from the original line. Take your pick of several familiar flavors.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Starbucks
Model
4
  Strong Contender

L’OR Original Nespresso Assorted Espresso Pods, 50-Count

The coffee in these pods comes wrapped in aluminum to deliver a more consistent flavor than plastic capsules. Each one is fully compatible with original model Nespresso machines. With five flavors to choose from, you can change up depending on your mood.

Features


Specifications

Brand
L'OR
Model
5
  Also Great

Peet’s Coffee Variety Assortment Espresso Pods, 40 Count

Fans of Peet's signature California coffee will love these capsules. The pack comes with four of the more robust flavors, all packaged with care. Each pod fits snugly into the original line of Nespresso machines.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Peet's Coffee
Model

Our Espresso Pod Buying Guide

There is a great deal of care that goes into the cultivation and roasting of coffee beans. And while the final step of actually brewing that coffee is fairly straightforward, there are a number of methods for doing it. True aficionados might have tried quite a few to satisfy their java jones, to the point where their coffee nook starts to resemble a mad scientist’s lab.

But when it comes to the most elegant combination of taste and simplicity, the art of coffee making may have reached its apex with the advent of single-serve pod-style machines. Even if you don’t already have one in your home, you’ve probably seen them at department stores under brand names like Nespresso or Keurig. With these machines, there’s no need to measure and pour coffee into a filter, or even water for every cup. You simply pop in the coffee pod of your choice and within seconds, you’ve got a fresh cup of coffee or espresso.

The choice of coffee makers is a tough one, but there are only so many brands to choose from. Choosing the right espresso pods, however, can be much trickier. There are hundreds of flavors and intensity levels offered by the companies that make those machines, and that’s before you even look through the many off-brand (but compatible) pods on the market.

The first thing that will narrow down your search is compatibility. You’ll want to make sure the pods you buy will fit into the machine you own. Buy the wrong pods, and you won’t just end up with an undrinkable mess — you might actually harm your machine.

The two major brands are Keurig and Nespresso, and of the two, Keurig has kept things relatively simple. Their K-Cups are a standard in all Keurig machines, and they’re even used by other coffee pod makers like Mueller and Hamilton Beach.

Nespresso has a wide variety of machines to suit every budget and taste, but their pods are not one-size-fits-all. The “original” line of Nespresso makers use a larger, cup-shaped pod where water jets through the top and forces coffee out through the foil covering at the bottom. The newer “vertuo” makers use a smaller, bowl-shaped pod that allows water to swirl around before flowing out.

The material of the coffee pod is another big consideration, both in terms of taste and the ability to recycle. The first generation of coffee pods got a lot of flak for how quickly they filled up garbage bins with non-biodegradable containers. Today, most companies have responded with kinder, gentler pods that can still produce a quality cup.

The most prevalent material is PBT, a thermoplastic that’s FDA-approved for use with food. It can also be recycled simply by rinsing out the container after use. A slightly pricier option is aluminum. These cups are a little thinner but more durable, allowing more coffee to be packed in. They can also be recycled with relative ease. These are the two main materials, but you can find pods made from a variety of compostable substances if you want to really be Earth-friendly.

After you’ve made those choices, the most important one can also be the hardest: Taste. From bold darker roasts to complex light varietals to seasonal flavored blends, there’s something out there for everyone. Variety packs are a good way to go until you find a coffee that suits you. Here, the joy is truly in the journey. Happy tasting!

DWYM Fun Fact

The Nestlé company gets credit for patenting pod-style espresso makers in 1986, but the machines weren’t an instant hit. Nestlé’s Nespresso line was originally marketed to large companies as an amenity for office buildings, but the machines didn’t take off until they started targeting coffee lovers at home.

The Espresso Pod Tips and Advice

One of the great things about coffee pods is that they’re airtight. Light and oxygen can degrade the taste of ground coffee, so that does wonders for the taste even months after you buy the pods. Even so, you should know that coffee pods can and do expire. Make sure to check the expiration date on the pod if it has one. If it doesn’t, most pods should be good for a year or so after their date of manufacture. And while the smell of coffee is generally a good thing, you don’t want it coming from your pods until after they’ve been used. Odors of any kind mean that the seal has been broken and the pod should be discarded.